Voters in Washington and Colorado went to the polls in November and decided it was OK with them if people possessed up to 1 ounce of marijuana for personal use. They’re already lighting up in Washington, and Colorado pot smokers will get their day in January when their new law goes into effect.
All of this is subject to change, however, since the federal Controlled Substances Act technically makes pot use, cultivation and possession illegal, according to the Huffington Post. The Obama Administration is already hosting meetings to discuss how it should respond to the new state level laws in Washington and Colorado.
Right now, the Post reports, several options are on the table — none of which include allowing the state laws to stand:
- Having federal prosecutors bring low-level marijuana users up on charges and then striking when the defendants file motions for dismissal based on the state laws. This would enable the federal government to gain a court ruling that says the federal law has dominance over the state legislation voters approved.
- Letting the U.S. Justice Department file lawsuits against the two states to stop them from setting up regulation systems for marijuana and taxes on its sale.
- Removal of federal grants for the two states, which essentially strikes them in the purses.
In an earlier Patch story, we asked readers if they thought Florida should consider legalizing marijuana like Colorado and Washington have. The majority of people who commented thought it was time for voters to have a say.
Now Tampa Bay, we want to hear from you about this new development in the issue! If the Obama Administration takes action against the two states, is that appropriate in your eyes? Or would it be too Big Brother like and an infringement on states’ rights? Share your thoughts in the comments section.